Friday, July 15, 2016

Laser pushing or pulling of absorbing airborne particles

Chuji Wang, Zhiyong Gong, Yong-Le Pan and Gorden Videen

A single absorbing particle formed by carbon nanotubes in the size range of 10–50 μm is trapped in air by a laser trapping beam and concurrently illuminated by another laser manipulating beam. When the trapping beam is terminated, the movement of the particle controlled by the manipulating beam is investigated. We report our observations of light-controlled pushing and pulling motions. We show that the movement direction has little relationship with the particle size and manipulating beam's parameters but is dominated by the particle's orientation and morphology. With this observation, the controllable optical manipulation is now able to be generalized to arbitrary particles, including irregularly shaped absorbing particles that are shown in this work.

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